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GUNS Magazine June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 18
STORY: Hamilton S. Bowen It’s not hard, and a few good tools help. instaLLinG a riFLe sCoPe rails. You can make a grizzly bear out of a prairie dog with a powerful enough scope—if you can find him in the first place. Measurements With your scope in-hand, you are now faced with the one difficult part of the operation: selecting from a bewildering variety of rings and mounts. The choice of manufacturer is largely a matter of preference or dictated by the design and application of scope and rifle. As a general rule, most mount/ring/scope combinations have sufficient latitude to provide proper eye relief. The real problem is choosing a base and rings of the proper height and configuration for your particular scope and rifle combination. Scopes with large objective bells may conflict with iron sights or barrels. Occasionally, eyepieces can interfere with the bolt when cycled. There are several ways to make this computation. Most prefer to have the scope mounted close to the bore line as possible since this typically yields the best stock fit. Excessively tall mounting will take away the indexing for your head the stock comb provides, necessary in quick shooting. No matter how you go about figuring ring height, I can’t commend strongly enough the chart found in the Brownells gunsmithing supply catalog entitled Survey of Scope Ring and Base Heights. H unting season is not far off and, naturally, all we nimrods will start pondering our choice of weaponry. Some of us will take old favorites. Others will start afresh. Many of the others will want to apply a scope to their new piece. Thanks to the enormous technical resources available to modern hunters, it is simple and any hunter who can field dress a deer can handle a scope installation. We’ll assume you have a typical bolt-action rifle but what follows is applicable to most any rifle. At the expense of belaboring the obvious, make sure the gun is unloaded and no ammo is anywhere nearby. Once you have your rifle in-hand, decide on a scope. This brief treatise must necessarily confine itself to the installation rather the optics selection but, that said, I will offer one piece of advice. The tendency is to procure scopes of unnecessarily high magnification. All the scope does is provide a more precise sighting picture by putting all sighting elements on one clear plane. It is not a spotting device. All you need is a reticle you can see and place on the kill zone with a little room left over. You don’t need to fill the view through the scope with deer since you then restrict the all-important field of view. I want to see not only the deer but a lot of his surroundings so I can figure out what to do next if something goes off the A happy confluence of first-class equipment, world-class ammo and a little pleasant work. Charts Armed with this intelligence and a simple steel ruler, you can get pretty close. Just lay your gun on its side on a flat surface and lay the scope beside it roughly where you think the eye relief will place it. With the bolt raised, get the scope as close to the gun as possible. With your ruler, measure the distance from the top of the receiver to the bottom of the scope tube. The Brownells chart will advise the height of the base and the distance from the bottom of the ring to the bottom of the main scope tube. Added together, you have the minimum acceptable height combination for your optics and gun. A search of the chart will advise 18 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J U N E 2 0 1 2